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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world’s biggest tech companies are about to open up their books — and some are expected to serve up record-shattering numbers.

Why it matters: The pandemic made many Americans even more dependent on these companies. That put a massive gust of wind — to the tune of billions of dollars — into the sails of Big Tech.

  • For now, forecasters see few signs of this fading.

Where it stands: Microsoft, reporting tomorrow, is estimated to have booked the highest revenue figure in its history, helped by its cloud and gaming businesses, per WSJ.

Also on tap this week:

  • Revenue at Alphabet is expected to outpace the company's first quarter record, helped by voracious internet advertising demand.
  • The signs of that hot ad market already showed up in Snap and Twitter's financial results — and Facebook is expected to reap the benefits too.
  • Amazon could log over $100 billion in sales (yes, in a single quarter) for the third time ever. That never happened before the pandemic.
  • Apple's sales are set to leap over what it posted this time last year.

The elephant in the room: Antitrust scrutiny has increased since the last time the companies released earnings, says Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.

  • Big Tech foe Lina Khan was sworn in as head of the Federal Trade Commission, and longtime Google critic Jonathan Kanter is set to lead the antitrust division of the Department of Justice.
  • Meanwhile, Congress is batting around a suite of antitrust bills.

But, but, but: None of these developments have made a dent in these companies' soaring stock prices.

  • "This is an elongated battle between the Beltway and Big Tech that is not slowing down," says Ives.

Stat to go: The five names alone are a record 22.9% of the S&P 500.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - Technology

Facebook is a news media magnet

Expand chart
Data: Signal AI; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

New data finds that Facebook has been mentioned in more online stories in the U.S. in the past year than all of its major tech competitors combined.

Why it matters: Press scrutiny of Facebook has become so intense and negative that the tech giant is reportedly planning to rename itself as soon as next week to signal that it's more than just a social media company.

Oct 21, 2021 - Technology

Snapchat stock sinks as it warns about Apple changes

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Snapchat's stock fell nearly 25% in after-hours trading Thursday after the tech giant acknowledged that its ad business "was disrupted" by changes to Apple's privacy terms that rolled out in June and July.

Why it matters: Snapchat's quarterly results sent stocks for Google and Facebook down in after-hours trading on fears that their businesses may also be affected by Apple's changes.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."